So I am thinking that it will be relatively inexpensive to build my own body dolly out of wood and some reinforcing metal parts and casters. I’m thinking maybe $150 total.
I’ve been snagging what Beetle dolly photos I can find on the net that are within my skill set to build. Some are really nice but while they may be structurally stronger, they don’t allow the chassis to roll under the body for storage.
My garage space is extremely limited and always will be. Murbella will always be garaged during the winter months, and with a properly designed dolly, I will be able to separate the Żuczek B.’s body from his chassis and still fit one on top of the other in 1 bay of the garage.
I am thinking that if built right, I will have enough vertical space to store the body above the chassis, and still not hit the garage door when opened. I figure Murbella will remain in the east bay, as that is the straight shot our of the garage and down to the drive. The west bay is closest to where my tools and parts are, and theoretically I can push the dolly out and have space available to work. Theoretically that is. I have so little space that tolerances for all this are pretty tight.
Now I’m going to be adding hooks and such to the beams above the garage door which is mostly an open space. That way, I can use chains to hang the seats, doors, and other parts to get the up and out of the way. I’ve seen it done before. It isn’t pretty. But it works. And none of that will weigh too much anyway.
There are quite a few dolly pics out there so I have a lot to work with in terms of ideas to follow.
Dolly 1 and dolly 2 (above) are far more compact and use less materials. Theoretically they are better positioned but they have one major flaw. Since the heater channels rest on them, you cannot easily do any heater channel repairs. So while my first impression of Żuczek B. is that his channels are sound… truth won’t be known until he’s blasted or disassembled and sanded a bit. So best to just not do this type from the start.
Now Dollies 3 and 4 above support the body in the front at the essentially the beam/strut area and the rear at the body mount area. These 2 free up the heater channels to allow for access to the entire length of the pans and I think overall, this will be the best way to build one.
The chassis will just slide in and out under the body, not taking up more than 1 bay of the garage. I am thinking also that if I space things correctly, this will allow me to lay on a creeper and do work too. Even stand inside the car to work (since the pans are on the chassis). It isn’t a rotisserie by any means, but it is what I can do at home with my space.